The Social Security Administration announced Friday (NOTE: I would like to apologize up front for starting this post with the words “the Social Security Administration announced”) that the two most popular baby names last year were Noah and Emma.
Did you have a child in 2014? Did you name a boy baby Noah or a girl baby Emma? If so, congratulations, your child will probably meet many people down the line and be able to say, “Oh, your name’s Emma? My name is Emma,” and then they can try to figure out if one has to go by a nickname or use initials or how they are going to differentiate themselves in this crazy world of ours.
Noah was at the top of the list for boys for the second year in a row, after that name charged to No. 1 in 2013 and became the first name other than Michael or Jacob to hold that spot since 1960. Emma, meanwhile, had not been at No. 1 since 2008, but was the runner-up the last two years, so we’re happy for Emma, this is very nice news for the name Emma.
(There’s a certain amount of sameness in the names on the list from year to year, which we explored last year, and you can read more about it here if you want to, but no pressure, it’s Friday, we understand.)
In addition to the top baby names, the Social Security Administration also provides access to the 1,000 most popular names in any given year. There are some interesting names on these lists, and it can be oddly fun to try and see where certain names were in certain years. Did you know that Ursula was the 980th-most-popular name for a baby girl born in 1981? Or that in 1955, the name Milton (No. 186) was much, much more popular than the names Wilton (No. 769) or Hilton (No. 810)? Or that the names Pearl and Earl have not both cracked the top 1,000 in the same year since 1986, when Pearl was No. 977, and after that Pearl dropped off the list until 2007, when Pearl reappeared on the list for baby girls and Earl disappeared from the list for boys (a streak of Earl-less years that continued uninterrupted through 2014).
And last year, the 755th-most popular name in the country was “Khaleesi.” You know, like on “Game of Thrones,” the television and book series. There were more baby girls named Khaleesi last year than Wendy (No. 782). All of which raises a real question: How did Khaleesi rank that low? She’s a queen! She has dragons and whatnot. Are there fictional characters named Tori (No. 734) or Joy (No. 462) with dragons? I do not believe so. Next year, our goal as a nation should be to push Khaleesi into the top 100, if not the top 50, as long as she remains at least one spot behind Matilda (No. 583 last year), because Matilda has magical mind powers and a popular stage show.
We should write more things about the Social Security Administration around these parts.